“To the machine the work of machines, to man the thrill of further creation” that was the motto for the multinational japanese company based in Kyoto Japan. The company was established by Kazuma Tateisi in 1933, the company manufactures and sells automation components, equipment and systems but the company is also known for the production of medical equipment in the health care department. The company used to be Tateisi Electric Manufacturing Company and started in Osaka before moving to Kyoto until January 1959 when the company motto “At work for a better life, a better world for all” and the trademark “OMRON” was established.
In 1932, founder Kazuma Tateishi met up with his friend who was an X-ray salesman and was inspired by his remark regarding a high precision timer for X-ray photography. Mr Tateisi took a month to create the first prototype and introduced it ot Nissei Hospital situated in Osaka to give the product a trial run and was proved effective. The creation of the X-ray timer was the start of the commitment OMRON to always challenge themselves and do better thus it became their first milestone of the company in their history of innovations. In 1934, Typhoon Muroto hit Japan and the repairs needed due to the disaster created an influx of demand for protective relays. Mr Tateisi was convinced to stake the company’s future on relays and later developed an induction type protective relay. The usage of these relays in power switchboards based on his earlier creation of the X-ray timer. This helped the company to gain access to a wider sales channels in the market.
After the innovative creation of the general purpose relay, Omron started domestic production on the precision switch in 1942. This was a request by the University of Tokyo’s Aeronautics Laboratory and they manufactured a switch with increased durability to more than 100,000 uses and its longevity. The production went through an extensive amount of trial and error before OMRON perfected the precision switch which became the first one of its kind in Japan. This became another innovation leap that allowed OMRON in pioneering the research of other control components.
The creation of automation did not start until 1955 when OMRON began mass producing precision switches due the demand by the Japan’s Defense Agency. The switches must be manufactured based on the specifications given by the agency. OMRON created a management system covering everything from the R&D department and manufacture to business administration. This was created in accordance with its foundation for automation business.
Industrial automation took the country by storm, and demand for high quality precision switches with the capability to withstand more than 100 million cycles skyrocketed. Tateisi organized a team of seven young researchers to develop a switch with a contactless configuration and it was given as a challenge to the team which they eventually succeeded in producing and is later named “dream switch.”
The current state of OMRON Corporation
Today, the company has offices and facilities in 24 major cities in 10 countries in Pacific Asia, providing plenty of business capabilities continuing to manufacture innovations in both the industrial automation and healthcare department. Their creation provided the world with not only high quality automation components but also access to high quality healthcare equipment. The company also had an oilfield and marine department but was later sold to Schulemberger in 2016, the global leader in oilfield services as part of their business transformation plan.